A lot has been said, lately, about simulated sorta-friendships on the Internet and social media taking the place of real, face-to-face friendships, to the detriment of society. As someone in a Pogo Games chat room once said, “But we’re only Pogo people!” It was a true cri de couer, even if I still can’t explain exactly what she meant.
As a thought experiment, let me remove all the “cyber-friends” (for want of a better word) from my life and see what’s left.
Family? Well, almost everybody’s dead. Those who are left have all moved far away from here, and we see them only on special occasions.
Old friends? Well, I hung on to those longer than most–but in all honesty, my boon companions, my bosom buddies, are not really the most wholesome company for the Christian that I want to be.
My wife is, of course, my best friend, and we are inseparable. But apart from her, if you take away my friends that I’ve made here on this blog, in the course of my work for Chalcedon, and on Pogo–well, there’s hardly anything left. For some people, online friendship is what’s on the menu.
But I don’t feel deprived. I’ve met wonderful people from all over the country, even from other countries, met them here and in my Chalcedon work, here and there and elsewhere–and I have grown quite fond of them. (That means some of you who are reading this: you know who you are.) I profit from my exchanges with them. I draw emotional support from you all. I am thankful for you.
Because of course–of course!–“just Pogo people” are real people. Man, I know happily married couples who “met” in a Pogo game room! If I could travel, I’ve got invitations from all over. Some of you, I’d love nothing better than to sit down and have a cup of tea with you–maybe even sit outside on a nice day and have a cigar. I may never meet you in the flesh, but you are my friends and I treasure you.
All right, enough of the sappy talk. You all know what I mean.
Yeah, constant texting, etc., a narcissistic urge to have strangers know the moment-to-moment boring details of your life–obviously that’s not what I’m talking about. I know some of you have come to enjoy the little community that’s growing up right here on this blog.
So, yes, we are all, in our fashion, Pogo people! And deplorables, too. Ich bin ein Berliner!
Let us wear our badges proudly.